Servant leadership is being a curling sweeper

Servant leadership is leading with a focus in looking after and clearing the way for your team to perform at its best. Firstly, it calls for the leader to provide the vision and then focusing on helping the team move towards it. (target)
A servant leader does whatever it takes to keep people on track and to reach their targets. To be able to do that effectively, leaders need to have a “I am here to serve my employees” mindset. That does not necessarily mean that you run around all day responding to their every whim, good or bad. Its means that you have a belief that by clearing the way and smoothing their paths they will be far more effective.
The belief that underpins this mindset is that your employees are not there to serve you, but the other way around. Your team are there to reach a goal and the targets you jointly set. Your role of a servant leader is to enable them to get to that target.
I liken servant leadership to that of the ancient sport of curling that’s seen in the winter Olympics.
When a curling player sends the curling stone down the ice to reach the target, there are a couple of players who act as sweepers. Sweeping the ice and clearing the way thus providing a smooth path for the stone to reach the target.
Servant leaders act like the curling sweeper by always focusing on keeping people on track, clearing the path of obstacles to help the team reach the target. In clearing the path the leader is always aware of where the target is and how to guide the team towards it. No different to the curling sweeper.
Of course, servant leadership does not stop there. Developing people is also a focus. The better the team the easier to reach the target. Curling gold medals aren’t won because of highly effective sweepers alone, they are won because of the highly skilled and motivated team as a whole. They need to be aligned and focused on that target.
The sweeper ‘s focus is heightened, because they not only have to keep an eye on the target but also what’s directly in front of them on the ice to keep that stone on desired path.
Staying focused on what’s required without being distracted by all the leadership noise around you turns a leader who has the right intent to a very effective servant leader who turns his/her intent to consistent action.
Staying focused is the key. I have coached many leaders and the highly effective ones work on keeping their focus and limiting their distractions. It requires discipline to control how and where you focus your energies.
You can help yourself focus by taking regular time out to meditate to clear the mind or doing something simple to help, such as wearing a quality gemstone that provides an energy support to help that clarity of thought.


About the author, Ross

Behavioural leadership coach committed to bringing more soul into business and reducing a leader's stress in managing their people

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